Feeds

Belgium wants in on European web blocklist

When in Bruges, do as the [censored] do

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The secrecy is also seen as problematic. While acknowledging that making block lists public would be to provide a goldmine of potentially illegal material to sex offenders and the inquisitive alike, the current situation offends against natural justice. In the case of our own IWF, not only is the list secret, but website owners will not be told officially when their sites are added to the list.

For the sake of natural justice, the argument continues, some mechanism for independent review of the list needs to be put in place without compromising the overall objective of blocking access to illegal material. The other problem with "secret" lists is that they tend to be leaked – and when they are, any mistakes quickly become ammunition against the entire process.

As far as we are aware, the only major blocklist that has not yet been leaked in full or in part, is the one belonging to our very own IWF.

El Reg has already reported on oddities found in the (leaked) Danish and Romanian blocklists. Although it is outside the EU’s jurisdiction, the Thailand block list is understood to include hundreds of YouTube videos (including Hillary Clinton's campaign videos) as well as blogs, cartoons, Charlie Chaplin videos and an article in the Economist magazine banned for criticising the Thai king.

In the last six months, Vodafone put in place a new filtering service for its Czech customers, which was publicised as blocking access to dangerous content such as "Child pornography and promotion of racism". Unfortunately, the blocklist also appeared to have included links that included a Facebook group dedicated to opposing internet censorship, a business directory and a transportation site.

The blame for this own goal has been laid at the doors of the IWF, who were alleged to have provided the URLs for the blocklist. Still, a spokeswoman for the IWF was adamant in denying any IWF involvement. She said that "the claim that the list in question comes from the IWF is simply not true".

Undoubtedly, 2009 is going to be the year of the internet filter. It is likely that many more governments will go down the route now being proposed in Belgium - and much argument will be needed before a compromise is achieved that succeeds in protecting both vulnerable individuals and internet freedom. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.